The job interview process varies widely around the world and has grown dramatically in recent years. There are a large number of factors affecting interview times such as company policy, job titles, industry, job seeker characteristics and more.
According to recent Glassdoor research, in the U.S. average hiring times grew by roughly 10.3 days between 2010 and 2014.
Hiring policies seem to have the largest effect on the length of the interview process. By choosing to require additional screening such as panel interviews, background checks, skills and personality tests, drug screening or candidate presentations, organizations can significantly add to hiring times.
The lengthened hiring times can also vary based on industry and job title. High-skill jobs that require judgment, creativity and technical skills generally require longer, more intense job screening where lower-skilled, more routine jobs typically require less screening by employers, allowing for faster hiring.
There has been little change in the most used interview method in the U.S. in recent years which is still the traditional one-on-one interview. The least used interview method is IQ Intelligence testing and candidate presentations. The one method that has grown most in recent years is the candidate background check followed closely by skills testing and drug screening. This information alone can provide a clear insight into why the hiring processes has grown so dramatically as these methods take time to perform and receive results.
It also appears jobs stay open longer at larger companies while smaller companies tend to hire the quickest. Government employers consistently hire most slowly due to internal bureaucracy. Franchise employers who have less red tape to deal with have the shortest hiring processes by far. As a whole employers are also trying to avoid the significant cost associated with bad hiring such as lost productivity, COBRA, unemployment and potential litigation expenses.
Delays in the hiring process can have a profound effect on people, companies, and the economy. It can mean lost productivity in the workplace, foregone wages for job seekers, and longer unemployment spells in the economy. It is conceivable that slower hiring times are actually good for companies. Careful and selective screening of job seekers can lead to better matches between a candidate and an employer, especially for positions that require hard-to-observe skills like creativity and judgment.
Source: Glassdoor Economic Research, “Why Is Hiring Taking Longer? New Insights from Glassdoor Data,” by Dr. Andrew Chamberlain. A study of 340,000 Glassdoor job interview reviews spanning six countries posted anonymously on Glassdoor.com during a six-year period from February 2009 through February 2015